Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Editorial: Rukmini is not just the new Judith Miller, she's also a theif

Sinan Atoon (ALJAZEERA) offers:

Many of the precious objects displayed in the global north's major museums were plundered from their home in the global south. The dubious itinerary and the illegal and unethical practices that facilitated the plunder cannot be found in the laconic texts accompanying these exhibited objects.
The narratives that frame the objects and collections and erase the plunder are usually those of "saving" and "recovering". Oceans away from their homeland, these treasures are often represented as being more "at home" in their exile in these metropolitan centres of the global north. They are "safe and sound" here and housed in reputable institutions where scholars and experts, who appreciate and understand their value and history, tend to them and curate popular and very profitable exhibits for the benefit of metropolitan audiences. As if the natives, the rightful owners of these objects, do not deserve them.

We can be wrong.

And we were.

We have just compared NYT's Rukmini Callimachi to Judith Miller.

But Miller only sold war.

Rukmini is much more damaging though that hasn't stopped some idiots from praising her.

I love Rukmini Callimachi’s storytelling

  1. This is an extraordinary piece of journalism. A reminder that while it’s easy to take cheap shots at the “failing MSM” it’s actually very hard to do what they do when they are at their best. is something special, but so are all journalists who put in work like this.

  2. I'm heading out shortly to pick up a copy of today's just to save a print version of 's amazing reporting on the files. First AQ in Mali, then ISIS in Iraq -- 's indispensable analysis shows the value of primary source documents.

  3. Can't recall how many times I saw described as incomparable this week after her latest reporting on . It's true, her work has been incredibly important to the field of terrorism studies & for all of us trying to glean further insight into ISIS as an organization
  4. This is to reiterate what you are receiving from fans world over, i am in love with your work. THIS is REAL JOURNALISM! I wish we had even one of you train people like me when we started out. At least i would not have got disillusioned and left the field. More power!

My Lord is a genius of a reporter.

This is the kind of incredible, mind-blowing journalism that will probably never pay for itself (15 months! 15,000 pages! 5 trips to Iraq!) but that is so crucial to keep doing. is the greatest.

Unlike those Rukmini freaks (we were kind and left off Glenn Greenwald), we never praised or promoted that article.

We had serious concerns about it.  As does Atoon:

Iraq is the most salient example, particularly after the Anglo-American invasion of 2003. The United States plundered millions of documents and moved them out of Iraq during its occupation of the country. With the exception of the Iraqi Jewish Archive, which is set to be returned to Iraq in two years, there are no plans to return any of the other collections.
In fact, in the past two years, more documents have been removed from the country, continuing this decades-long plunder. In a recent piece, the New York Times bragged about taking to the US thousands of ISIL documents its journalists snatched from liberated areas in Iraq.
Perhaps one should not be surprised that the newspaper that participated in justifying the 2003 invasion of Iraq does not consider these actions unethical.

When is it reporting?  When is it pillaging? Why has the paper of war not returned the documents?

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